Green Knob is on the high elevation ridge that looms across the gorge from Sam Knob and the highlands of Shining Rock. Located deep in the Middle Prong Wilderness, it represents the rare ecosystems afforded by the peaks that loom at, or above, the 6,000 foot mark in the North Carolina high country. If you are searching for solitude, then Green Knob should be on your list of wild places to visit. Middle Prong Wilderness was created, in part, to take off some of the pressure of overuse on the adjacent Shining Rock Wilderness. Just as impressive in most ways, and even more so in others (actually higher peaks), most people still seem to prefer Shining Rock for its wealth of open country, and so Middle Prong offers rare solitude and true roadless silence.
As with so many eastern peaks, the name of this one is repeated for other mountains. In fact, there is another "Green Knob" just a few miles away in the next quadrangle. There are eight "Green Knobs" in the southeast, including four in North Carolina.
Most people gain access to Middle Prong Wilderness and Green Knob via the Green Mountain Trail from the Moutains to the Sea Trail, which can be accessed from where the MTSTrail crosses 215 (near the intersection with the Blue Ridge Parkway, or a short connector trail to MTS via a point south of the Parkway/215 intersection. You can also catch the Green Mountain Trail at Sunburst National Forest Campground on 215, at the base of the peak, for a thigh-burning climb of about 3,000 feet over the top of Green Knob to the intersection with MTSTrail.
None. The peak is located deep within the Middle Prong Wilderness Area. No parties over ten are allowed. No fires are allowed. Violations of these rules will be prosecuted.
When To Climb
All year. Access to Middle Prong Wilderness trailheads can be limited during times of heavy snow, when both the Parkway and 215 can be blocked.
Camping is allowed in the wilderness. Do not camp at a water source, no parties over ten, no open fires. Be aware that this is prime bear habitat. Take all precautions for bears.
Check the weather for here, for Mount Mitchell, which is some miles north, but has similar weather.